Saturday July 20, 2024

Barbie screening delayed in Punjab over ‘objectionable content’

July 22, 2023

LAHORE: The “Barbie” film’s release was delayed in Punjab province Friday over “objectionable content”, officials said.

“There will be a full review of the film, and it will be censored where deemed necessary,” Farrukh Mahmood, secretary of the Punjab Film Censor Board, told AFP.

He said that the fantasy-comedy film, which stars Margot Robbie as the famous doll and Ryan Gosling as her boyfriend Ken, will be cleared for screening once the review and censoring process is complete.

The board did not clarify which content was “objectionable”, nor why.

While fans in the most populous province will have to wait to watch “Barbie”, the film was due to be screened from Friday in the capital Islamabad and Sindh, where it was cleared by the respective censor boards.

“I have been looking forward to watching Barbie for months. It makes no sense that it’s ok to be shown in Karachi or Islamabad, but not Lahore,” Nousheen Saad, a resident of Lahore, told AFP.

In November, “Joyland” -- a Cannes prize-winning film and Pakistan’s entry for the 2023 Oscars -- was banned by the government for being “clearly repugnant to the norms of decency and morality” of the country.

“Joyland” depicts a Pakistani married man’s affair with a transgender woman.

The film was later cleared by the national censorship board after the government ordered a review, but it remained banned in Punjab.